Sodium intake, how much is too
- Sodium Intake, how much is too much
- Herbs for cooking
- Recipe: Five minute dip
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Sodium is part of table salt and many other foods. While some sodium is found naturally in food, most of it is added to our food to flavour and preserve it, or change its texture or structure.
Table salt (NaCl) is a component that contains 40 % sodium and 60% chloride. All types of salt are high in sodium (table, kosher, Pickling, sea salt, etc.). Sodium is a mineral that our body needs to maintain a normal fluid balance. However, eating too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Most processed foods found in the grocery store are high in sodium. These include: Canned, packaged, or pre-made sauces, dips, gravies, condiments and dressings, canned soups, deli and luncheon meats, frozen meals, pizza, processed cheese spreads, ready to eat foods (like those found at the take out counter), snack foods ( chips and salted nuts).
On a regular day, we eat about 3400 milligrams (mg) per day. This is more than double the amount of sodium we need. Healthy adults need only 1500 mg of sodium per day and healthy children need only 1000 to 1500 mg of sodium per day. If you want to control your sodium intake to what is healthy for you, start by making healthy choices from Canada’s food guide and buying products with the lowest amounts of sodium. Look for foods that have less than 360 mg of sodium per serving. You can also look at the DV
% value on the nutrition fact table if the product has 5% DV or less is a little or if the product has 15% DV or more is a lot.
Eating less sodium can help you and your family stay healthy and feels your best.
Recipe: Five minute dip
It is a great dip for your veggies.
Makes: 16 Ingredients:
1-19oz. can (540ml) black or navy beans* rinsed and drained ∙ ½ cup (125ml) fat free ranch dressing ∙1/2 tsp cumin** ∙ 2 garlic cloves
Place all the ingredients into food processor or blender. Blend to desired consistency.
- * For lentils dip, use lentils instead of beans
- ** For lentil dip, use 1 tsp curry powder instead of cumin
Herbs for cooking…
1 tbsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt) 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground basil
1 tsp. ground marjoram 1 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. ground parsley 1 tsp. ground savory 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. onion powder (not onion salt) 1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground sage
Combine all seasonings. Pour into a salt shaker. Use in place of salt.
Recipe adapted from the American Heart Association
Herbs are the leafy parts of plants that do not have woody stems. They can be fresh or dried. Dried herbs have a stronger flavour than fresh but lose their strength quickly. An herb is a plant whose leaves, seeds, or flowers are used for flavoring food or in medicine. Other applications of herbs include cosmetics, dyes, and perfumes. The word derives from the Latin “herba”, meaning “green crops.”
Plants have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and from the origin of much of modern pharmacology. Herbal products contain many different compounds that may have a variety of different actions in the human body. Many of our conventional drugs were originally isolated from plant materials.
If you are looking for ways to add a lot of flavour to your foods without a lot of salt, you may choose to add fresh or dried herbs to your recipes instead. It is also a low fat way of adding great flavour. Herbs are different from spices, which come from the bark, buds fruit, roots, seeds or stems of various plants or trees. Do not be confused, some examples of herbs are basil, bay leaf, cilantro, dill, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
You can experiment with the different herbs to see what you like best. You can also grow your own herbs, which is usually cheaper than buying them from the grocery store. Fresh and dried herbs can add new flavours and aromas to your cooking without added fat, sodium or calories.
-Fresh product such as fruit and vegetables are naturally low in sodium.
-Herbs should be washed only when they are about to be used, so that they do not darken or wilt.
-You usually can substitute 1 tbsp. of fresh herbs for 1 tsp of dried herbs, however, always check the recipe for substitution instructions.
-All types of salt are high in sodium. There are no healthier choices.
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